"Willow's still a wreck, Dawn's mad at both of us, and the social services lady put me through a wringer. Says she's gonna watch me. I'd like to see her try now."
The Trio accidentally turn Buffy invisible. She takes advantage to escape from the problems in her life.
- Accidental Pervert: Xander cops a feel of Buffy's invisible breasts.
- Answer Cut: Willow asks where Buffy is. Cut to Spike in his crypt, about to be pounced on by an invisible Buffy.
- Applied Phlebotinum: The diamond stolen by the Trio in "Smashed" is used for their Invisibility Ray. According to Willow it has "quasi-mystical quantum properties".
- Badass Adorable / Running Gag: The female Scoobies all love Buffy's new haircut. Whether or not they can see it.
- Blatant Lies: Spike turns up at Buffy's house because he's "taking a stroll" — in daylight. Buffy says she doesn't know where Spike's lighter is — it's actually in the pocket of her jeans. Xander catches Spike doing 'naked push-ups' in bed. There's also a Brick Joke from S5 when Spike tried to hide his Stalker with a Crush obsession with a Lame Comeback; "I never liked you anyway, and you have stupid hair." Now we see that's not true as Spike gushes over Buffy's goldilocks (Buffy responds by getting a bobcut).
- Carpet of Virility: Buffy grabs one of the Invisible Trio who complains of her grabbing his hair. When he's turned visible...Buffy: Jonathan? [beat] You have chest hair?
- Continuity Nod:
- References to Marcie the invisible girl.
- To "Once More With Feeling". Buffy whistles the "Going Through the Motions" song, and steals the buggy of a parking enforcer, the same one Marti Noxon serenaded in that episode.
- Cringe Comedy: This episode is particularly full of it. The two prime examples are Buffy's entire first meeting with Mrs. Keller, and Xander walking in on Spike and Invisible Buffy having sex. Made worse by Spike's excuse of doing pushups, which he then demonstrates—punctuated by Buffy gasping.
- Curse Cut Short: Depending on what word Spike was going to use; "fight" or...Spike: I love this hair; the way it flips around when you-- (Buffy goes to hit him with a spatula; he grabs her wrist) Ah-ah-ah! This flapjack's not ready to be flipped.
- Death Seeker: Averted — after hearing Xander's message that she will eventually dissolve into pudding, Buffy realises she is still afraid of dying.
- Description Cut
- Jonathan says, "In my book an invisible Slayer means a whole world of trouble." Cut to an invisible Buffy playing practical jokes in the park.
- The trope happens in reverse when Buffy gets turned invisible, then the scene cuts to Xander saying, "What happened to Buffy? She's gone." It turns out Xander and Anya are planning where everyone's going to sit for their wedding, and Anya has moved her position to another table.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Buffy's revenge on the social worker has been called this by fans, since she was nothing but professional the whole time, and was just doing her job responsibly.
- Double Meaning: Dawn saying to invisible Buffy, "How can I talk to you when I can't see you?"
- Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: Some fans thought that Buffy's behaviour with Spike verged on this.
- Duct Tape for Everything: Like gagging your first hostage.
- Dude, Not Funny! (In-Universe): Dawn's reaction to her invisible sister joking around.
- Exact Words: When Xander says he's looking for Buffy (who is invisible), Spike all-too-quickly replies that he hasn't seen her.
- Failed Attempt at Drama: Invisible Warren warns Invisible Buffy that his men are all around her. Willow butts in that she thinks there's only three of them.Invisible Warren: More than enough to cause some serious carnage, right guys? ... Guys? Guys! (pan to a video game that's apparently playing itself)
Invisible Jonathan: Kick! Use the kick!
Invisible Andrew: I tried that, he keeps blocking it with his drunken monkey fist!
Invisible Buffy: Ooh, scary video carnage.
- Failed Dramatic Exit: See Smoke Out.
- False Reassurance: Warren points the Invisibility Ray at Buffy to 'cure' her."Okay, now hold still, and all your troubles will soon be gone."
- Fantastic Drug: Candles are like bongs to a witch. And to think we thought Willow and Tara were just having rampant lesbian sex during their spellcasting sessions.
- Seems like Buffy was comparing candles to drugs because Willow was addicted to magic, though, rather than because she got high off them.
- Flashback Cut: Buffy finds Spike's lighter behind the sofa and has an instant flashback to having sex with him. No wonder the lighter ended up in her pants.
- Ms Kroger questions whether an 'unemployed' young woman can properly support Dawn. Buffy will get a job in the next episode.
- Warren makes his first attempt to kill Buffy. It won't be the last.
- Friendly Tickle Torture: Invisible Buffy tickles Spike and gnaws on his earlobe while he's talking to Xander. As Xander has already walked in on him doing 'naked pushups' in bed, Spike twitching and giggling for no apparent reason convinces Xander that Spike needs to get a girlfriend pronto.
- Gag Echo: "I told you — stop trying to see me."
- Gaslighting: Buffy to the social worker.
- Gender-Inverted Trope: Buffy just wants to use Spike for sex, while Spike wants to discuss their relationship.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Spike tries to throw Buffy out of his crypt, then suddenly looks down at his crotch."Hey! That's cheating!" (Smash Cut to "Espresso Pump Dealer" on the back of a shirt)
- Buffy gasping whenever Spike puts his (off-camera) hand down the front of her jeans.
- Buffy's gasp can be heard again when Spike demonstrates his 'push ups' for Xander.
- Get Out: Buffy collapses against the door after Ms Kroger leaves, only to find Spike is standing before her offering sympathy and support. As Buffy regards Spike as yet another reason why her life is screwed up, she yells at him to get out. Spike slams his hand next to Buffy's head and uses the other to rummage in her jeans (causing Buffy to moan in anticipation), grabs his lighter from her pocket and storms off.
- Growling Gut: Spike is watching a horror movie on TV, when a woman screams "Oh the blood! The blood!" This naturally starts the vampire's tummy growling and he goes for the fridge. Until Invisible Buffy enters and he quickly becomes hungry for something else.
- Hearing Voices: The murderous mug of Ms. Kroger.
- He Is Not My BoyfriendMs. Kroger: Um, Miss Summers, if you and your boyfriend would like to—
Buffy: He is NOT— (Spike looks over with a scowl; Buffy clears throat) ... not my, my boyfriend, he's, um, just... a... (Spike waits to hear what she'll say) Spike ... this nice woman is, uh, (meaningfully) from Social Services?
- Hollywood Hacking: Willow breaks into the Department of Motor Vehicles database to find the mysterious Van in Black.
- Hypocritical Humor: Buffy shoving aside some pedestrians while griping about Spike being insensitive.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Third episode out of three in a row named after an euphemism for being drunk or high.
- Idiot Ball: Xander completely buys Spike's story about doing nude push-ups in bed, despite Buffy audibly squealing as he demonstrates. Maybe it could work if he didn't know Buffy was invisible, but since he does, it just comes off as him being as much in denial as a random Sunnydale citizen.
- Important Haircut: After Spike gushes over her long hair, Buffy tries to regain some control of her life by hacking it off with scissors — Smash Cut to Buffy in a hair salon because she made a mess of things. Also subverted in that her new look marks no change in her life or behaviour — she quickly ends up in Spike's arms for round two, and her life continues to suck.
- Instant ExpertWillow: The gun, it's not set for reversing the particle ionization. It'll accelerate her molecular dissolution. I saw the plans!
- Interrupted Intimacy: Xander does this twice — and fails to realise what's happening both times.
- Invisible Jerkass: Buffy plays practical jokes on random people, makes a social worker who was only doing her job look insane, and acts irresponsible to an extent that even Spike calls her on it.
- Invisible Main Character
- Invisible Streaker: Averted as Buffy was wearing clothes when she was zapped.Spike: Get dressed, if you can find your clothes, and shove off.
- Lighter and Softer: The only time in the entire sixth season where we get to see Buffy having fun.
- Malaproper: Xander's use of "blinvisible".
- Master of the Mixed Message: After declaring in the previous episode that she's not going to have sex with Spike again, Buffy quickly decides otherwise after turning invisible.
- Mistaken for Gay / Not That There's Anything Wrong with ThatWillow: Buffy, I'm not feeling hot, so uh, I'm gonna take a quick nap, okay?Buffy: Okay, Will! That's Willow. She, uh, she kind of lives here too, actually.Ms. Kroger: Oh, so you live with another woman.Buffy: Oh! Oh, it's not a, a gay thing, you know, I mean, well... she's gay, but, but we don't ... gay. Not that there's anything wrong with that...
- Mundane Utility: Averted; Willow tracks down the Trio's van without magic.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Buffy half-heartedly suggests chasing after the Trio, then lets a security guard and Willow distract her from doing so. Her failure to take the Big Bad Wannabes seriously will have fatal consequences down the line.
- Not Helping Your Case: Everything that Ms Kroger from Social Services sees when she turns up for an inspection — Dawn's arm in a sling, the house in a mess from packing Willow's stuff, baggies of 'magic weed', and Buffy's odd not-boyfriend.
- Not So Dire: The Trio appear to be going to commit another robbery, but they actually intend to perve on a bikini waxing.
- Not What It Looks Like: Mrs Kroger finding a baggie of sage.
- Oblivious Mockery: Xander tells Spike that only a complete loser would sleep with him — in the presence of Buffy who's done just that the night before. The comment gives Buffy an added incentive not to confess what's happened to her friends and forestall her Destructive Romance.
- Or Are You Just Happy to See Me?? That is Spike's lighter in Buffy's pocket, which means she's definitely glad to see him.
- Perplexing Plurals: Warren declares to Buffy that "We are your arch-nemesises...ses." When they fail to open their escape door, Buffy mockingly says to Willow: "I give you my arch-nemesis...ses...ses." This becomes a Brick Joke in Season 7's "Conversations With Dead People" when Buffy is informed that "nemeses" is the correct form.
- Person as Verb: Anya and Xander are 'Muldering' out the problem of how Buffy turned invisible.
- Power at a Price: Due to the Ray Gun being discharged on the wrong setting, Buffy will eventually disintegrate if she's left invisible.
- Power Perversion Potential: The Trio plan to use their invisible ray to spy on a bikini wax. When Buffy turns invisible, she sneaks into Spike's crypt, throws him against the wall and rips off his shirt before he guesses who she is.
- Pre Ass Kicking One LinerWarren: You haven't won yet, Slayer.
Buffy: No, that part comes after I beat the snot out of you.
Warren: I go down, we all go down!
- Warren is trying to rally his reluctant troops.
Buffy: And I promise, you're all going down.
- Rage Against the Reflection: A subtle version when Buffy stares in the mirror and starts hacking off her hair.
- Rant-Inducing Slight: Buffy griping about Spike throwing her out. It's supposed to be the other way round!
- Real Life Writes the Plot: Sarah Michelle Gellar had requested her hair be cut shorter.
- Reckless Gun Usage: The Trio panic when they see Buffy walking across the road and try to turn themselves invisible; while fighting over the ray gun it goes off, zapping Buffy.
- Remember the New Guy: Spoofed — As Willow turns the Trio visible again, Buffy is surprised to see Jonathan, Warren, and... "Who are you?" Andrew says he's the guy who sent the flying monkeys to attack the school play. As that episode never happened on screen Buffy and Willow still don't remember him until they're told he's Tucker Well's brother.
- Rule of Cool (In-Universe): When Warren finishes building his Ray Gun, Andrew gripes that he expected something cool-looking — more ILM than Ed Wood. Warren snaps, "I'll show you cool!" and promptly vanishes a chair with an impressive-looking light beam.
- Unusual Euphemism: "You penis!" An averted trope?
- Security Blanket: How Buffy tries to explain to Ms Kroger the blanket Spike uses to shield himself from the sun.
- Scenery Censor / Fanservice: Spike's groin always manages to be behind the bed or just off camera range.
- Shirtless Scene: More Ho Yay between Spike and Xander.
- Shout-Out: To The Shining. "All work and no play make Doris a dull girl."
- Smoke Out: Spoofed — the Trio throw down a smoke bomb to escape, but when the smoke clears they're pressed up against a locked door trying to get out.
- Sound Only Fight: Buffy vs. the Trio due to all parties involved being invisible.
- Spot the Imposter: Spoofed when Andrew comments that Invisible Buffy could be anywhere, even right there among them. "For all we know, she could even be one of us!" The Trio look at each other in alarm until they realise how ridiculous that sounds.
- Talk About That Thing: Buffy getting Spike away from Ms Kroger."Uh, Spike, didn't you have to go now, you know, because of that thing?"
- Thou Shalt Not KillJonathan: Wait a minute! We're not killing anybody. Especially not Buffy!Warren: You guys are so immature! (angrily) We're villains! When are you gonna get that through your thick skulls?
- Visible Invisibility: Buffy has fun communicating via talking skulls and ball 'eyes'.
- We Have Your Best Friend / Come Alone
- We Will Meet Again / Failed Attempt at DramaBuffy: So you three have, what; banded together to be pains in my ass?
Warren: We're your arch-nemesises ... ses. (Buffy and Willow look confused) You may have beaten us this time, Slayer, but next time ... um ... uh, next time...
Jonathan: Maybe not! (throws down smoke bomb)
- What the Hell, Hero? / Where Were You Last Night?: Dawn gives Buffy the cold shoulder, given that Buffy's lack of supervision is as much at fault for her broken arm as Willow's addiction.
- Who Would Be Stupid Enough?: Anya suggests that Buffy might have been turned invisible by a spell that backfired. Xander asks who'd be messing with that kind of power, then we have an Answer Cut to Willow in her room.
- You Remind Me of X: Spike notes that Buffy isn't bothered much by being turned invisible.Buffy: No. Maybe because for the first time since... I'm free. Free of rules and reports... Free of this life.Spike: Free of life. Got another name for that — dead.